A witness, who was in St Patrick’s in the 1960s for five years, recalled two lay teachers who inflicted severe punishment: Ms Adams,2 she was a very big woman. One could imagine a child of seven years of age or around that age group, this woman, we wore short trousers in the School at the time, she would open the collar of the shirt, you could have been caught talking in Mass or they would see fit at the time themselves that you would be misbehaving, she would be able to catch you by the collar of the shirt like that (indicating), with the strength of her upper hands she would be able to lift you up that way, upside down. Ms Spencer3 would give you a good beating with a leg of a chair or lump of a stick, whichever she would have at the time. That could happen maybe two or three times a week depending on what way they felt ... It wasn’t an isolated, no.
He explained: Ms Adams would have held you up and Ms Spencer would have done the beating ... She held you up by the back of the collar of the shirt and trousers being short trousers, she was able to catch the two legs of the trousers and she would hold you horizontally ... Ms Spencer would beat you on the legs and on the bottom with a stick ... A leg of a chair.